University of Illinois

University of Illinois

UI graduate students spearheading efforts for Haitians

URBANA – When the earth rumbled under Haiti on Jan. 12 and turned building after building to rubble, two University of Illinois students watched and worried from afar.

Haiti native Stefano Boulos knew his parents were at their family home east of Port-au-Prince, the capital city devastated by the 7.0 quake.

Melissa Pognon, whose family emigrated to the United States years ago, knew her aunt, uncle and cousin were in Haiti visiting her grandmother.

After some anxious hours, they learned all their relatives were safe. But the news was not all good.

Pognon's cousin was slightly injured in the quake, and the family home sustained damage.

UI prof going to Haiti to conduct research

URBANA – A University of Illinois engineering professor leaves for Haiti today to assess earthquake damage.

Scott Olson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the UI representative on a nationwide team that will examine ports and other infrastructure in Port-au-Prince.

UI offers voluntary separation to some employees

URBANA – Some University of Illinois employees are getting an offer in their e-mail – early separation agreements, worth up to $75,000, but they have to make up their minds soon.

Only the Urbana campus is looking at the program, chief spokesman Tom Hardy said Thursday.

UI program awarded six-year grant

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois has been awarded a six-year, $1.25 million grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grant will fund 10 post-doctoral fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences during the next six years, with the first appointments to begin in the fall. The Illinois program will name two fellows each year, who will research a wide range of humanities topics and teach four courses each during their two-year terms.

Idea pays off for UI, prof with deal with Samsung

URBANA – Joseph Lyding says he's "pleased and a little surprised" that the semiconductor technology he helped develop 14 years ago has finally been licensed.

The University of Illinois announced Tuesday that Samsung Electronics has been licensed to use the patented technology that can extend the life – or improve the performance – of silicon chips.

Officials to meet with UI students on safety

CHAMPAIGN – Several local officials, including state Sen. Mike Frerichs and state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, will meet with University of Illinois students next month to discuss public safety issues.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8, in room 100 of Noyes Lab on the UI campus. In addition to Frerichs, D-Champaign, and Jakobsson, D-Urbana, panelists will include Sgt. Bill Emery of the state police, Capt. Tim Voges of the Champaign County sheriff's office, Lt. Skip Frost of the UI Police Department, and representatives of the Urbana and Champaign police departments and of the office of Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz.

Illinois universities to issue budget plea

URBANA – University presidents across Illinois plan to send a common plea to state legislators in coming days: work with us to fix the state's budget crisis, and stick to a payment plan.

Group concerned about 'Next Dance' e-mails

URBANA – Chief Illiniwek supporters say that e-mails from University of Illinois administrators show a pattern of trying to discourage the group from using the Assembly Hall.

"We feel that our rights to speech were muffled or were attempted to be muffled. They never really gave us any clear explanation" about requests for use of the large hall, said Roberto Martell, a spokesman for Students for Chief Illiniwek.

Helping students map business ideas

CHAMPAIGN – Student entrepreneurs at the University of Illinois should find it easier to advance their business ideas this year, thanks to a new program on campus.

UI researchers use gamers' brains to analyze learning

URBANA – Maybe practice makes perfect when it comes to baking a loaf of bread. But it's your brain size that counts a lot when it comes to scoring high on a video game, researchers have found.

A study conducted at the University of Illinois looked at MRI brain scans of men and women trained on "Space Fortress," an approximately 30-year-old video game developed at the UI, and discovered that how well gamers performed could be predicted by the size of certain regions of their brains.